Douglas Motorsport celebrated a stunning one-two finish in the opening weekend of the 2020 BRDC British F3 Championship season at Oulton Park, with a milestone meeting also seeing them surpass 100 races in the series.
The Corby-based team’s return to the iconic Cheshire circuit marked the first time in almost a year that F3 cars raced in anger, after the global COVID-19 pandemic forced the season to be delayed by over three months.
Kiern Jewiss headed the Douglas trio’s charge in qualifying on Saturday, grabbing the best grid slot in fourth ahead of Belgian team-mate Ulysee De Pauw. Jordanian rookie Manaf Hijjawi also made a mark as he broke into the top 10 on his debut.
18-year-old Jewiss then proceeded to charge up to third place in the early stages of the weekend’s opening race later on Saturday afternoon, tailed all the way to the flag by team-mate De Pauw to ensure a double podium after a jump-start penalty was applied to second-placed Louis Foster.
That would not be the end of the story however, as the pair were promoted further by a similar post-race penalty applied to Kaylen Frederick for the same offence. Jewiss therefore inherited his second BRDC British F3 victory from De Pauw, while Hijjawi unfortunately fell from ninth to 16th after also being adjudged to have jumped the start.
The reverse grid made race two tougher to match the early success. De Pauw finished best of the Douglas trio after climbing two spots during the race to 11th, with Jewiss 13th after starting down the field for winning the opening contest.
Race three on Sunday marked the team’s 100th start in BRDC British F3, and they looked to have been rewarded with another podium from the impressive De Pauw. He finished third overall after a rapid getaway, however sadly the podium was taken from him for a yellow flag infringement. This promoted Jewiss to fourth place on the final results.
Jewiss made up ground from seventh on the grid in the final race of the weekend to finish fifth and further confirm his title credentials. De Pauw fought his way to 11th among the train of F3 cars squabbling for places, while Hijjawi clinched two 13th place finishes on Sunday in his recovery from Saturday’s setbacks.
A consistent weekend leaves Jewiss second in the British F3 Championship standings after the first four races of the season, just eight points adrift of the series lead as the team heads to Donington Park in two weeks (15/16 August) for another quartet of races.
“It’s been a solid start for us, picking up some good points over the course of the weekend at a track that is notoriously difficult to overtake at. We’ve scored well and ticked over 100 races, so it’s on to Donington Park with our heads held high knowing that, if we qualify well, we’ll be in contention for wins.
“Kiern obviously did a great job for us to grab a win and we’re in the title hunt already, but there’s still a long way to go and he’s got more wins in him. Ulysse similarly did a fantastic job to be in podium contention all weekend, and it’s such a shame he got his penalty in race three because we feel he would have had another two podium finishes for sure.
“It was a strong debut weekend for Manaf. He qualified well and while it didn’t all go his way in the races, he made huge strides forward across the meeting.”
Image from Jakob Ebrey Photography.